Holds up surprisingly well for an action game on the NES. It's tough, but it doesn't throw too many cheap shots. Your character handles great, the stages are all distinct in their gimmicks and art design, and the enemy patterns are clear and learnable. I played through solo, but co-op is the way to go.
The Konami Code is super famous has been talked about to death, so these are most definitely well-trodden thoughts, but I like how it functions as training wheels for the beginner player. You can play burden-free and die (almost) as many times as you want while you adapt to the game. Then, once you've got a hang of all the patterns, you can blaze through without it and feel like an absolute champ. Probably unintentional, but brilliant nonetheless.
Reviewed on Feb 22, 2021